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Giraffes and unicorns...

Collection on a loose rein at Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington Somerset near Devon

Riding Bronson today was a joy! We started out as usual, with his head up in the air, but he worked in an outline more frequently than ever before and he was listening beautifully. When I got home and watched my gopro footage, it was like watching a giraffe morph into a unicorn and, unfortunately, then back again. We moved in and out of an outline the entire session. I’m delighted though! This is such a huge improvement for us. Of course I’ve watched Pip ride him in a beautiful outline many times and he has taken my breath away with his beauty, he seems to float along. For him and I to be achieving engagement, even some of the time, is utterly brilliant!

There is so very much to think about though. When I am focusing on direction I also need to be focused on our pace. Are we going where I’m asking at the pace I’m asking for? I also have to notice! Notice whether I’m asking at all, asking correctly and is he listening? All this may sound easy but when you are thinking about your posture, direction, pace and trying to ensure you are asking for what you want correctly, which involves numerous elements, it’s very easy to drop the ball. Sometimes I’ll find that I am still asking for something when Bronson has already responded and is doing it! This has to be massively frustrating for him… I find that throughout our sessions, rather like during meditation, my focus on each thing comes and goes and then comes back, usually because something is happening that makes me realise I’ve stopped being aware of one or more of those elements.

I’m having the time of my life and watching the improvement in our partnership is filling me with such happiness. I adore Bronson and he’s still making his mind up about me; which is fair enough given my many cock ups! Working with him has encouraged me to strive to be my best self and has forced me to find my confidence. Early on he made it clear that if I wasn’t confident he didn’t want to be with me, so it was find my confidence or find another horse to be with! In trying to be all the things he requires me to be I am on a path of constant self improvement and it really is rather wonderful.

In today's photo Pip is riding Bless achieving collection on a loose rein, the ultimate!

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